Forward - City of Chicago

Forward - City of Chicago



Department of Transportation

Action Agenda


City of ChiCago

121 N. LaSalle Street • Chicago, Illinois 60602 • @chicagosmayor

Dear Fellow Chicagoans,

Chicago is the city that many look to for the future — the future of the Midwest, the future of industry, and the future of the

environment. Our accomplishments and progress are important not only to our residents, but to the strength of the region

and the competitiveness of our nation as a whole.

We have always been a city built around transportation — first water, then rail, then roads. This will continue to be true as

our transportation system continues to evolve. Where we once built expressways that divided our communities, we are now

reconnecting neighborhoods with new bus lanes and extensive and expanding bicycle facilities that offer safe, green, and

fit ways to travel for all ages. The substantial investments that we make in our freight rail network will ensure sustainable

and reliable transport not only for the region, but the national economy as well.

I’ve told my team that we need to improve our government’s efficiency, our communities’ vitality, our children’s environment

and safety, and our growth as a center for commerce.

Chicago Forward” is a roadmap toward achieving this vision through concrete, measurable steps in the realm of

transportation: better construction, great public spaces, safer streets, and support for neighborhood and global businesses.

I applaud the work of our Department of Transportation in putting forth this document as a concise digest for every

Chicagoan to follow as we advance towards our future.

Rahm Emanuel



City of ChiCago

30 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 1100 • Chicago, Illinois 60602 • @ChicagoDOT

Dear Friends,

Chicago’s transportation network is the envy of the nation in many ways: we are the preeminent hub of the world’s most

extensive freight rail system; home to two of the nation’s busiest airports; have a well-established and well-used bicycle

network; support one of the nation’s busiest transit systems; and many Chicago sidewalks bustle with activity day and


However, we face substantial challenges too: Chicago is first in the nation for regional traffic congestion; bottlenecks disrupt

and delay our freight and passenger rail services; roadway crashes cost time, money, and lives; and rates of childhood

obesity are well above national averages, endangering health over a lifetime.

But we are up to overcoming all of these challenges. I am honored to lead a team of the nation’s best transportation

professionals at CDOT. We aspire to plan, build, and maintain a transportation system that improves the quality of life for

everyone in Chicago — one that is balanced to serve the needs, safety, and health of all users, regardless of how or where

they are traveling, and regardless of their age or ability.

Chicago Forward” outlines the critical values and principles we aspire to as protectors of the city’s transportation network

and the policies and actions that will help us continually make progress toward those ideals. It documents the specific,

measurable targets that I have established for the Department and the outcomes we expect to accomplish within the next

two years.

I look forward to working with the citizens and leadership of the city in achieving the goals of Chicago Forward. Doing so

will make Chicago an even stronger economic engine and environmental leader for the next generation.

Gabe Klein

Commissioner, Department of Transportation

Table of ConTenTs

Chicago Timeline 8

Vision Statement 10

Mission Statement 11









Exhibit List 94


Photo Credits 96

End Notes 97

Policy Summary 98

Acknowledgements 99

This agenda has six principles, one for each point on

the Chicago flag’s stars. Use the colors and the star in

each upper left corner to find the pages about each


CHICaGo TImelIne


Explorers Marquette and Joliet learn about a

shortcut back to Lake Michigan: a grassy

portage to the Chicago River.


The Federal Land Ordinance of 1785

establishes a square-mile grid system for

land in the new Midwest. Chicago’s major

streets later develop on the lines of this



The U.S. acquires land at the mouth

of the Chicago River to control

access to the Great Lakes, building

Fort Dearborn eight years later.


City of Chicago Incorporated on March 4.


The Illinois and Michigan

Canal opens; connecting the

Great Lakes and the Mississippi

River makes Chicago a

hub for shipping and

commerce. Also, the first

locomotive of the Galena and

Chicago Union Railroad

reaches Chicago.


The “20th Century Limited”

train begins 65 years of

express passenger service

to New York. Its boarding

process inspired the phrase

“getting the red carpet

treatment” and its iconic Art

Deco locomotive from the

1930s was honored on a

1999 postage stamp.


A City Council

ordinance eliminates

duplicate street names

from annexations and

renumbers buildings

into the 800-to-a-mile

system used today. It

also establishes State

and Madison as center

point for directional

designations, lettered

Avenues on the

southeast side and the


names for

North-South streets


July 27 an ordinance

requires the Chicago,

Milwaukee, and St. Paul

Railway to elevate its

Bloomingdale Avenue

Tracks to eliminate collisions

with pedestrians and

livestock. A century later,

efforts were underway to

turn the embankment into

the Bloomingdale Trail.


The Michigan

Avenue Bridge

(now the DuSable

Bridge) opens to

traffic; its sidewalk

markers outline the

site of Fort









Attorney and former congressman Abraham Lincoln

regularly visits the Chicago headquarters of one of his best

clients, the fast-growing Illinois Central Railroad.


City council authorizes the construction of

26 miles of Boulevards.


The first elevated train line begins

operations – still used by the Green line.


Mechanical engineer Ignaz Schwinn

starts a bicycle manufacturing company,

one of dozens on the West side.


The Hotel LaSalle Parking Garage at 215

W. Washington opens as the first multi-story

parking garage built in the US (and perhaps

the world) and stands until 2005.


The Union Elevated railroad - today

known simply as the Loop,

connects four elevated rail lines.


Municipal (now Midway) Airport – in its 10 th

year of operations becomes the world’s busiest,

carrying over 100,000 passengers.


“Dodge City” aircraft engine plant opens, making

engines for the US military B-29 planes during

WWII. After the war, the plant was leased to auto

manufacturers (Tucker and Ford Motors). Today, Ford

City Shopping Center and Tootsie Roll Industries

occupy the site.


State Street Subway opens. Work

continued in wartime, despite

rationing, due to its ability to

cheaply move workers and to

serve as a bomb shelter.


New CTA service begins

on facilities built by the

City in medians of the

Kennedy and Dan Ryan

Expressways, creating the

southern section of the

modern-day Red Line and

extending the modern-day

Blue Line to Jefferson Park,

with onward express bus

service to O’Hare.


Rapid transit service extended to O’Hare airport. Also, Honorary Street

Name Ordinance passes, allowing honorees to have a street named for

them without changing the official street addresses.


Chicago Department

of Transportation

(CDOT) created during

a reorganization of the

Department of Public



Orange Line opens on Halloween.

Also, the city secures federal

congestion relief funds for public

bike racks across the City, now the

largest such program in the US.

2012 - 2014

Continue reading

to Chicago’s

future actions!











US Route 66, the most famous highway

in US history, is established. It starts at

the Jackson/Michigan intersection and

runs 2,400+ miles to Santa Monica,



Chicago Union Station opens


The Chicago Transit Authority

(CTA) is created and acquires

rapid transit, streetcar and bus

lines from bankrupt corporations.


Growth of the federal Interstate Highway

System leads to construction of more

expressways: Chicago Skyway (1958),

Kennedy (1960), Dan Ryan (1962), and

Stevenson (1964, on lands of the former I&M



The first commercial flight departs O’Hare

Airport and the first segment of the

Eisenhower Expressway opens.


In June, Senator Barack Obama celebrates

clinching his party’s presidential nomination with a

family bike ride to the Lakefront. He insists on

wearing a helmet to be a role model for young



CDOT begins work on reconstruction of 56 year

old N-S Wacker Drive and finishes reconstruction of

the 68 year old Grand/State Red Line Station.



“Ensure that Chicago continues to be

a vibrant international city, successfully

competing in the global economy with a

transportation system that provides highquality

service to residents, businesses,

and visitors – a system that offers a solid

foundation for the city, regional and

national economies, yet is sensitive to its

communities and environment.”

“The Chicago Department of

Transportation’s mission is to keep

the city’s surface transportation

networks and public way

safe for users, environmentally

sustainable, in a state of good

repair and attractive, so that

its diverse residents, businesses

and guests all enjoy a variety of

quality transportation options,

regardless of ability or





Transportation has always shaped Chicago and its people.

In 1795, the United States acquired land at the mouth of the Chicago River from

Native Americans to serve as a portage to move boats between the Great Lakes and

the Mississippi River watershed. From that site grew Fort Dearborn, which by 1837,

had transformed into the first incorporated city in Illinois: Chicago.

From the opening of the Illinois & Michigan Canal in 1848, through the rise of rail and

air travel, Chicago has been a critical transportation link between the eastern and

western United States. Transportation assets and infrastructure have created today’s

Chicago and will continue to shape us and the nation, in the future.

Chicago’s transportation systems move millions of people and billions of dollars of

freight annually. Chicagoans make more than 8.8 million trips a day on our roads,

rails, bridges and trails. More than 39 million visitors a year walk our sidewalks, and

drive and bike on our streets. 1

Chicago is also the heart of a $500 billion regional economy, the 4th largest in the

world. 2,3 About 4.5 million workers travel to and from jobs in the region every day


to support the world’s 5th most important business center (just behind London,

New York, Tokyo and Singapore). 4,5 Roughly 450,000 tons of freight worth nearly

$700 billion moves into, out of and through the Chicago freight system every year,

representing one quarter of the nation’s daily freight rail traffic. The nation’s economic

growth relies on Chicago’s economic health and continued vitality. But that economy,

in turn, relies on a solid foundation of efficient and reliable transportation.

This transportation backbone is so integral to our regional life and economy that we

often only notice when this highly complex network experiences a hiccup. As Mayor

Emanuel stated in his transition report, “So effective is our transportation system

that we tend to take it for granted. We assume that the “City of Broad Shoulders” can

carry any load for as long as needed.”

The responsibility of managing this complicated network can be overwhelming:

Chicago is tied for first in the nation in traffic congestion; over a hundred motorists

and dozens of pedestrians and cyclists lose their lives on Chicago roads each year;

hundreds of miles of roadway are in poor or very poor condition due to deferred

maintenance caused by budgetary constraints; 40% of Chicago Transit Authority

(CTA) stations are more than 50 years old and have not had major improvements in

their lifetime.

After housing, transportation remains the second highest household cost for most

Chicago families, in excess of 17% for many, and the combined expenses for housing

and transportation constitute more than half the income for many Chicagoans. This

leaves little additional money for other expenses, such as quality child care, higher

education, or healthy foods.

While the challenges of the city’s transportation system are great, the opportunities

are many. The following pages identify six principles that steer CDOT and over 170

specific and measurable actions the agency will undertake over the next two years.


These actions will help to fulfill the vision for a greater Chicago articulated by Mayor

Emanuel and advance prosperity for all Chicagoans, the Midwest and the nation as

a whole.

In this way, we will help move Chicago Forward.

Safety First


safety first

Safety is paramount in a complicated transportation system where pedestrians share

action agenda

the right of way with fast moving vehicles, bicycles intermingle with delivery trucks,

and roadways cross freight rail lines. Policies and actions to keep everyone safe

must take many forms, and be addressed at multiple levels. From planning through

implementation to evaluation, from education to enforcement, safety is always a

priority for the city.

On average, Chicago experiences roughly 3,000 crashes between motor vehicles and

pedestrians resulting in 50 pedestrian deaths each year. This is safer than the 2003

to 2007 period when the city had over 3,500 crashes and more than 60 pedestrian

fatalities a year, and a dramatic change from 1994 when 88 pedestrians were killed in

that year alone. Chicago has been making steady progress to improve transportation

safety for all users, and has had fewer pedestrian fatalities per capita than most of

its peer cities.

But every life lost is one too many.

The Chicago Department of Transportation will take action to promote safety at every


level of project development and through multiple avenues of outreach. Planning,

evaluation, and budget programming provide a firm foundation for ensuring continuous

improvement in safety performance, while thoughtful and innovative design of each

individual project improves overall system safety. Education and enforcement are

also critical components to ensure that users of the system understand their role and

responsibility in public safety.

Performance Measures

1. Eliminate all pedestrian, bicycle, and overall

traffic crash fatalities within 10 years.

[ Safety is paramount. ]

2. Reduce pedestrian and bicycle crash injuries,

each by 50% within 5 years.

3. Reduce total roadway crashes and injuries from

all roadway crashes, each by 10% every year.

4. Increase by 5% annually, the total number of

adults and children who receive in-person

safety education.


safety first

action agenda


P olicies +

A ctions

Evaluation: Gather and use data to assess the root causes of

transportation safety hazards and address them in a systematic and

sustainable way.

Data collection, evaluation and analysis are critical to understanding where, how and why certain

conditions or practices cause safety hazards for users of the transportation system. Although rich

sources of transportation data exist, not all of these data sets are currently available to CDOT.

Comprehensive network-wide analysis and data review will assist in determining where strategic

interventions can be made in one part of the system to improve overall operations and safety in

the broader network. One key piece of the puzzle was completed in 2011 as CDOT finalized and

published an analysis of all crashes involving pedestrians from 2005 through 2009.

CDOT is called upon to conduct over 400 location-specific traffic studies each year to address issues

with vehicular, pedestrian, and/or bicyclist safety. However, many times, the underlying cause of

the safety hazard is elsewhere in the system and can only be determined and addressed through

a broader area-wide study. CDOT will need to be proactive in identifying needs for such studies.

For these, and the site-specific analyses that will continue to be necessary, new funding sources will

need to be identified.



CDOT conducts

over 400


traffic studies

each year.









The frequency of pedestrian fatalities


in Chicago LOS have ANGELES fallen dramatically


in recent HOUSTON years. However, DALLAS total annual

DIEGO pedestrian SAN ANTONIO crashes have not decreased


by nearly as much, and even saw

1.5 increases 2 over 2.5 the same 3 period. 3.5

SH FATALITY RATE [2005 - 2009]


1 » Actions

a. Annually evaluate the top 10 crash locations

in the city and implement quick, low-cost

improvements while also seeking funding for

more comprehensive changes.

b. Analyze all fatal crashes involving pedestrians

or bicycles.

c. Seek opportunities for comprehensive,

larger area neighborhood traffic studies to

improve safety, address cut-through traffic,

and reduce driving speeds to create livable


d. Establish a sign reflectivity assessment and

management system to comply with upcoming

federal requirements for regulatory and

warning signs.

1. City-Wide Pedestrian

Crash Trends













e. Establish an intergovernmental agreement with

Argonne National Lab to access its traffic

simulation model (TRANSIMS) for local and

citywide analysis.

f. Complete a bicycle safety study in

collaboration with the University of Illinois-


g. Develop a red light and speed enforcement

placement model to ensure that the city’s

automated enforcement program does

everything it can to protect Chicago residents.






2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009




As a part of a federally-funded initiative to improve pedestrian safety,

CDOT completed a comprehensive analysis of pedestrian crashes within

Chicago. This study, which examined pedestrian crashes from 2005-2009,

found that the city has experienced a 9% reduction in crashes since 2005,

and a 21% reduction since 2001.

In 2009, Chicago had its lowest pedestrian fatality rate in 15 years, which

was also the fifth-lowest pedestrian fatality rate among large U.S. cities. The

number of pedestrian crashes, on average, is still over 3,000 per year, or

more than eight per day.

Over 17,000 crashes involving pedestrian fatalities or injuries were examined

in this study. Below are some of the study’s findings:

• Hit-and-run crashes were more common in Chicago than other major

cities and comprised 33% of all crashes, with an average of two

every day. Among fatal crashes, about 40% in Chicago were hitand-run,

compared to 20% nationwide.

• The most typical pedestrian action at the time of the crash was

lawfully “crossing with the signal.”

• Thursday had the most crashes, while Saturday had the least.

• Crashes most often occurred 3-6 pm, with 6-9 pm next worst.

However, almost half of crashes with senior citizens injured were

between 9 am and 3 pm.

• Taxis were involved in 28% of crashes with pedestrians in the Central


• Turning vehicles were involved in a large portion of pedestrian

crashes: 66% in the Central Area and 52% at signalized intersections


• Vehicles turning left were two to three times more dangerous than

vehicles turning right.

• Four of the top twenty crash locations were located along a twomile

stretch of 79th Street. Most of the others occurred in a band

of communities from Austin, east to the Loop and Near North Side.


safety first

action agenda


Engineering: Develop standards and complete

designs to ensure the safety of all users,

including pedestrians, cyclists, motorists,

children, seniors, and people with disabilities.

We must ensure that our streets are safe and are designed for all

users. This is a fundamental element of Chicago’s Complete Streets

policy (read more on page 42), because unsafe choices of travel are

not really choices at all.

The elements of street design such as geometry, visibility, maintenance,

2 » Actions

a. Develop strategies, an action plan, and

funding resources to begin transformation of

residential streets to a 20 mph standard.

b. Adopt formal design and site selection

standards for pedestrian facilities such as

mid-block crossings, signs, refuge islands and

crosswalks for use in Chicago and integrate

into Complete Streets guidelines.

c. Install countdown pedestrian signals at

300 intersections in 2012 and, if funding is

signs, landscaping, and technology, can make the difference

available, 100 more intersections in 2013.

between what is safe and unsafe at intersections, at driveways, and

in travel lanes. Developing standards for these designs will make

these improvements better, faster, and less expensive. In all of these

efforts, it is particularly important to make sure the most vulnerable

Chicagoans are safe.

d. Install Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) at

100 intersections in 2012 and, if funding is

available, 100 more intersections in 2013.

e. Develop policies and standards for bicycle

signals and leading bicycle intervals, deploy

at least 10 pilot locations in conjunction with



Design safe

streets for all



protected bike lanes, and collect data for


f. Install 10 pedestrian refuge islands per year at

locations recommended by Aldermen through

the “menu” capital improvement program.

g. Expand the use of in-street “State Law: Stop for

Pedestrians” signs, speed indicator signs, and

related devices through the Aldermanic “menu”

capital program.

h. Adopt a policy on the use of Accessible

Pedestrian Signals (APS).



The Damen-Elston-Fullerton intersection has often been

one of the ten most dangerous intersections in the city,

with as many as 100 crashes in a year. Its skewed, sixpoint,

three-signal orientation challenges turning vehicles

and often results in poor judgment by drivers. The

short distance between signals limits storage space for

turning vehicles, the corners are too sharp for turning

buses and trucks, and pedestrian and bicycle facilities

are inadequate.

After evaluating alternatives that would either simply

modernize signals or build an overpass or tunnel for

Fullerton traffic, a more creative option was chosen.

It will relocate Elston Avenue (the diagonal street) to

bypass the current intersection, creating three separate

signalized four-point intersections. Access will be

maintained to businesses and homes facing the bypassed

section of Elston by converting it to a narrower

local street.

This design has several benefits:

• Improved safety: Significant reduction of

potential vehicle conflicts and driver confusion,

resulting in fewer opportunities for crashes.


• Minimal inconvenience during

construction: The majority of the project can

be built while the existing intersection continues

to operate.

• Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure:

Improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities,

including a new continuous bike lane along


• Assist with future growth: Enhances

2. Rendering of Damen-Elston-Fullerton proposed alignment

economic development potential along the

corridor with a new face-lift for the area.

safety first

action agenda


Enforcement: Partner with sister agencies

to refocus enforcement efforts to protect

the safety of all users, particularly the most


While it would be nice if everyone complied with safety regulations

all of the time, the fact is many of us are often tempted to try to push

the limits of safe behavior. Enforcement is a necessary reminder

that these laws are a social compact with one another that can

keep our entire community safe. For example, our network of redlight

cameras has helped reduce angle (“T-Bone”) crashes by 29%

in the two years after installation compared to the two-year period

prior to installation.



all fatalities

{ped + bike}

in 10 years.


And speed matters. The difference between a motorist speeding

at 40 mph and a driver observing the typical city speed limit of 30

mph, is not just one of braking time, it can be a matter of life and

death. A pedestrian hit by a car at 40 mph has a 15% chance of

survival; at 30 mph, the odds of survival increase to 55%. At 20


mph, although injuries may be likely, the survival rate increases

to 95%.

Chance a person would survive if hit by a car travelling at this speed


20 mph 45 ft to


30 mph

85 ft to



40 mph

145 ft to



3. Vehicle and Pedestrian Collision Speed Survival Percentage

3 » Actions

a. Continue the use of the red-light automated

enforcement program.

b. Begin automated speed enforcement in

designated Safety Zones around schools and


c. Conduct targeted enforcement efforts 100

times a year in different parts of the city, in

partnership with the Police Department and




Irving Park Rd

North Ave

d. Work with the Police Department to integrate

greater enforcement of pedestrian and bicycle

protection regulations into officers’ regular

Central Ave

Madison St

duties and activities.

e. Encourage the assignment of bicycle and

Cermak Rd



pedestrian safety coordinators and trainers

within the Police Department.

Pulaski Rd

Western Ave

Halsted St

47th St



63rd St


79th St

95th St

4. Red-Light Camera Locations

safety first

action agenda


Education: Promote awareness to all residents and travelers

on safe habits to decrease transportation risks and increase

safe, efficient, and enjoyable travel in the city.

Education may not always be visible to the general public, but it is one of the most

effective ways to ensure safety for all. When we learn and remember to travel in

ways that are considerate and reduce risk, fewer crashes (and close calls) are the

result and our transportation system operates more reliably and efficiently.

4 » Actions

a. Increase the number of schools, parks and

events visited each year by ambassador

programs (see table) to expand pedestrian

and bicycle safety education for children and


b. As a result of ambassador programs, increase

the number of schools that get a second,

message-reinforcing, visit and increase the

Education is truly a community effort. CDOT and our many partner agencies have

a remarkable track record of education, including the Bicycle Ambassadors and

Junior Ambassadors program and the more recent Safe Routes Ambassadors

program. Year after year, seat belt and bike helmet usage increase, pedestrian

injuries and fatalities decrease, and students walking or biking to school travel

safer. Building on these successes will make Chicago even safer.

number of people receiving context-based


c. Conduct media safety education campaigns

targeting drivers, cyclists and pedestrians,

including the issue of distracted driving.

d. Expand specialized outreach trainings on nonmotorized

traveler safety.

» Provide at least five trainings for non-English

proficient populations, including at least two

in Spanish.

» Provide trainings for taxi drivers and city fleet



» Increase the number of trainings for senior


e. Use the Chicago Conservation Corps (C3)

and other programs to support volunteer-led

events and training that promotes bike and

pedestrian safety at the grassroots level.

f. Distribute bike helmets to members of

Chicago’s new bikesharing system who need



Education is truly a

community effort.


Bike Ambassadors 2010 2011

Safe Routes


‘09 - ’10 ‘10 - ‘11



Total Events 368 399 420

People Educated 60,050 61,180 63,000

Target Enforcement 47 62 75

People Stopped in

Enforcement Event

9,000 13,000 16,000

Park District Day Camps 147 165 180

Youth + Kids Educated 15,000 16,000 18,000

‘11 - ‘12


Number of Schools 94 104 120

Number of Students 8,329 9,921 11,600

Schools visited twice 10 70 85

Students visited twice 643 6,400 7,600

Students receiving

context-based practice

413 4,578 6,600


The city of Chicago’s Bicycling Ambassadors and Safe Routes Ambassadors encourage Chicagoans of all ages to

bike and walk more often and to do so safely. Together, the ambassadors total more than 500 visits each year to

events and schools throughout the city.

The Bike Ambassadors attend community events and staff key cycling locations from May through September.

Large numbers of people see them on the busy Lakefront Trail as they provide maps and cycling information and

answer cycling-related questions, but more often they are on assignment to give safety presentations to groups of

kids, teens or adults.

During “Share the Road Campaign” events (51 in 2011), ambassadors stop cyclists who run red lights or ride on

sidewalks to educate them on safer cycling; at some events they offer donated headlights to cyclists without them.

They also educate motorists about sharing the road with cyclists and pedestrians.

For six weeks in the summer, they are joined by the Junior Ambassadors. These twelve teenagers, graduates of

an After School Matters bike safety and repair class, are sponsored by the Chicago Park District. Together, they teach

safe cycling to young campers at 165 Park District Day Camps.

During events, Bike Ambassadors conduct helmet fits (1,186 in 2011) for kids and adults. If not properly fit, helmets

can slide out of position during a crash and fail in their crucial role to reduce head and brain injuries, and even


The breadth of the Bike Ambassadors’ efforts can be measured by the nearly 400 events attended each summer;

the five languages in which brochures are available (English, Spanish, Polish, Korean and Chinese); and the 15-60

miles the ambassadors bike on Chicago’s streets and trails each day, going from event to event, materials in tow on

a bike trailer.

The Safe Route Ambassadors have a different focus, but an equally important task. They visit over 100 elementary

schools each school year, teaching pedestrian safety to second graders and cycling safety to fifth graders. After

classroom presentations on the first visit, they often return to conduct outdoor workshops with students, reinforcing

and expanding on the material and skills taught in class.


In addition to providing elementary school programming, the Safe Routes Ambassadors work with high school

driver’s education classes to teach about sharing the road, driving safely around bicyclists and pedestrians, and

making smart transportation choices.

The elementary and high school programming is offered to every school in Chicago, public and private. At some

public schools, the Safe Routes Ambassadors also provide comprehensive Safe Routes to School programming to

close the gap between safety learned in the classroom and at home, and to help schools address barriers to safe

walking and biking in their community.

To invite these energetic safety educators to your summer event or elementary school, or to just learn more, visit or

Rebuild & Renew


ebuild & renew

Over its history, Chicago has invested billions of dollars in its transportation

action agenda

infrastructure. Just like a home or car, keeping that investment in excellent

condition is essential to maintaining its value and avoiding more expensive

repairs in the future.

Asset preservation is a critical activity for CDOT and one of the smartest

investments the city can make. Preservation takes a range of forms, from

routine maintenance, such as repainting lines or patching potholes, all

the way to full reconstruction of a street or bridge that has reached the

end of its useful life. Each project presents an opportunity to build better

than before; use newer technologies, add more sustainable materials, or



[is critical.


implement better management practices.

CDOT relies on its in-house tradesmen to perform regular, routine

maintenance. In an average year, these tradesmen resurface 60 miles of

residential streets; resurface hundreds of blocks of residential alleys; repaint

over 11,500 pavement markings (at about 1,400 intersections); construct

2,000 ADA ramps; raise and lower bridges over 20,000 times; and fill


between 400,000 and 700,000 potholes. While 60 miles of resurfacing

sounds like a large number, alone it means that at that rate–CDOT would

only be able to resurface the city’s over 6,000 miles of residential streets

just once every century. More resources are necessary.

Improving the maintenance of our infrastructure is one of the smartest

investments we can make. We intend to get the most out of facilities and

this will only be possible by ensuring that maintenance is a part of all

decision making processes. We can’t just build infrastructure; we need to

build everything to last.

Performance Measures

1. Increase the percentage of major streets with a

Pavement Condition Index of 50 or less (out of

100) in the last evaluation that have since been


2. Increase the percentage of bridges with a

Bridge Condition Index of 3 (out of 9) in the

last evaluation, that have since been repaired or


3. Reduce the net number of potholes reported

each winter and each fiscal year (July-June).

4. Increase the percentage of sidewalk ramps in

compliance with current standards.


One of 20,000

bridge openings by

[CDOT each year.


ebuild & renew

action agenda



it last with maintenance.

Maintenance rarely draws the big headlines when done well. But

as finances tighten, maintenance of our infrastructure is too often

deferred. Over time, these deferrals lead to a degradation of the

quality of our infrastructure. By the time this degradation becomes

noticeable, it has also become more expensive to fix, which leads

to a system that can be unattractive, unclear, uncomfortable, or

potentially, even unsafe.

P olicies +

A ctions

On-time, scheduled maintenance is necessary to ensure that all

infrastructure will last the full duration of its construction life – as

much as 80 years in the case of many of our roadways and bridges.

This makes not only good financial sense in terms of making the most

of our past investments, but also good environmental sense in terms

of minimizing waste and energy use.


Streets have

a life-span of

up to

[80 years.


1 » Actions

a. Commit to filling every pothole generated

by Chicago’s winter before the start of the

next winter and providing short-term repairs

as quickly as possible during the winter to

minimize further damage.

b. Explore new technologies to determine

whether pothole repair can be done faster

and/or more affordably.

c. Update the Pavement Condition Index ratings

by 2013, then begin a program to resurface

the roads in greatest need of repair.

i. Continue to keep landscaped sections of

public way - including medians, boulevards,

and plazas - attractive and lively.

j. Partner with the Department of Streets and

Sanitation to ensure that protected bike lanes

are kept just as clear of snow and debris as

the adjacent vehicle lanes.


The variety of landscaping in the public way is the

most fragile infrastructure maintained by CDOT. It is

near the edge of the street, surrounded by traffic, inundated

by emissions, exposed to the extremes of heat

and cold, and bombarded with road salt de-icers in

the winter. All of these challenges make plant selection

critical for landscape projects. For this reason, CDOT

has developed an urban-tolerant plant list from which

designers select resilient plant varieties. These planted

areas reduce the city’s heat island effect, increase the

ability to capture storm water, add much needed biomass

to help clean the air, and provide a more livable

environment for city residents.

d. Begin engineering of improvements by 2013

for all bridges with a Bridge Condition Index

of 3 or less (on a 1-9 scale), unless closed or


e. Refresh pavement markings annually on at

least 100 miles of major (arterial or collector)

streets, and 800 locations on local streets.

f. Support the CTA as they upgrade track and

related elements on the Blue Line’s O’Hare

branch to eliminate all remaining slow zones.

g. Renew 125 miles of existing on-street

bikeways by 2014, updating configurations as


h. Replace sidewalks at 700 residences each

year as part of the Shared Cost Sidewalk

Program. In this program, home owners pay

significantly less than what a private contractor

would charge. (Senior citizens and people

with disabilities may qualify for a further


One of the largest of CDOT’s landscape projects is the

construction and maintenance of the Landscape Median

Program. Currently, CDOT maintains 73 miles

of medians and installs new landscaping at a rate of

three to five miles each year. Medians in the central

third of the city are maintained by The Chicago Christian

Industrial League (CCIL) as part of a job-training

program that offers a trade to homeless individuals

and those with substance abuse problems. Graduates

of the program get job placement with landscape firms

throughout the region.


ebuild & renew

action agenda


Fix it first and build it better.

At some point, any piece of infrastructure will eventually require reconstruction

or major rehabilitation. This presents a tremendous opportunity to modernize

the infrastructure through the use of new materials and better management

techniques. CDOT is currently at work on several large scale reconstruction

2 » Actions

a. Finish the Wacker Drive construction project

and open both Lower and Upper Wacker

Drive by the end of 2012.

b. Resurface 100 miles of arterial streets by June

2013 to catch up on unmet needs and reduce

projects that will ensure Chicago is able to meet the demands of the decades



c. Remove obsolete (and costly-to-maintain)

60’s-era roadway overpasses at Western

Avenue over Belmont and at Ashland Avenue

over Pershing Road and replace each with

attractive, modernized intersections that meet

Complete Streets standards.

d. Rebuild the Wells Street Bridge over the

Chicago River - which carries CTA Brown

Line trains, vehicles, bikes and pedestrian - by


e. Complete reconstruction of the historic, sevendecade–old

Torrence Avenue vertical lift

bridge over the Calumet River by fall 2012.


f. Complete reconstruction projects underway by

summer 2012:

Existing Historic Torrence Bridge - Reconstruction beginning in 2012

» LaSalle Drive in Lincoln Park - including

improvements to its pedestrian underpass.

» Halsted Street Bridge over the North Branch

of the Chicago River –including floor beams,

lateral bracing, sidewalk grating and truss

repairs. (The sister bridge over the North

Branch Channel was replaced with a

signature, fixed tiered arch bridge in 2011.)

» Ogden Avenue from Fulton to Randolph -

including improved clearance under the CTA

Proposed Lakefront Trail access bridge at 35th Street

Green Line.

» Laramie Viaduct at Polk Street.

g. Renew and replace infrastructure in Chicago’s


» Construction by 2013 of shoreline

revetments (replacing the retaining wall

at Lake Michigan and adjacent surfaces)

at three locations: 43rd to 45th Streets,

Montrose to Irving Park Road, and Fullerton

Avenue by Theatre on the Lake.

» Complete the design for a new pedestrian/

bicycle access bridge to the Lakefront Trail

at 35th Street; remove the aging pedestrianonly

structure at that location; then start

building the new bridge in 2013.

» Rebuild the Fullerton Avenue Bridge over

Lincoln Park Lagoon in 2012.

» Rebuild the Kedzie Avenue Bridge over

Marquette Park Lagoon in 2012.

h. Begin concept design for rebuilding North

Lake Shore Drive from Grand to Hollywood.

Wacker Drive - Upper Level Construction



Wacker Drive was included in the original Burnham

Plan of Chicago and traverses Chicago’s Central Business

District. One of its unique features is its two-level

viaduct which separates commercial trucking, deliveries

and through traffic from upper level traffic.

In 2012, CDOT will enter the second and final phase

of a $300 million reconstruction of Wacker Drive from

Lake Street to Congress Parkway. The first phase of this

extremely complex project was completed on time and

within budget.

The project incorporates numerous pedestrian safety

accommodations, including center island pedestrian

refuges, decreased roadway lane widths, countdown

signal timers, ADA-compliant ramps, and other geometric

improvements to accommodate the 100,000

pedestrians that cross Wacker Drive each day.

Additionally, the ramps that form the Wacker Drive

Interchange with Congress Parkway will be rebuilt

below grade and topped with a new three-and-a-half

acre Chicago Park District park.

i. Begin design of the Wells-Wentworth

Connector between Roosevelt and Cermak



NOTE: Additional actions to build and rebuild CTA

stations, such as the reconstruction of the Clark/

Division Station on the Red Line - are named on Page

47, in the Choices for Chicago chapter.

ebuild & renew

action agenda



and coordinate.

There are demands on our public right of ways from many

different users: public utilities, private corporations, individual

residents, and local businesses.

Over the next 10-20 years, the city will experience 700

miles of water main and sewer improvements, 2,000

miles of gas main replacement, 1,000 miles of electrical

cable replacement and more utility improvements. With

proper inspection, planning and coordination, all of this

work can be completed without significant degradation

of our infrastructure, additional public expense, or great

inconveniences to users.


3 » Actions

a. Restructure CDOT to improve coordination

and oversight of underground utilities and the

restoration of roadway cuts.

b. Improve timeliness for the restoration of

“plumber’s cuts” by utilities to within 14 days

after completion of work.

c. Add at least three new public way inspectors.

d. Invest in technology to streamline and improve

the inspection process in the field (such as

smartphone, GIS tagging or See Click Fix-type


e. Adopt web-based tools for utility coordination

and public space coordination between city




Coordinating utility investments minimizes disruptions

to residents and commerce and saves money. CDOT’s

Office of Underground Coordination (OUC) works to

make sure that happens.

OUC is responsible for protecting the city’s surface

and subsurface infrastructure from damage by construction

and maintenance projects. One way it accommodates

this is the “DIGGER” service, where project

designers get information from all utilities in one

request. The OUC also reviews plans to assure that

construction work in or adjacent to the Public Way

does not conflict with existing utilities.

Contractors working in the Public Way will now be

held to a higher level of accountability when restoring

streets after construction. New software will be used to

better minimize utility company conflicts. Both will reduce

the impacts of utility work on our neighborhoods.

A variety of public and private utilities participate in

the DIGGER program, including:

• Natural Gas Companies

• ComEd

• Thermal Chicago (Chilled Water)


• CDOT Electrical Operations

Chicago Dept. of Water Management

The utility paint color identifies the utility type

below - Orange is telephone and Cable T.V.

ebuild & renew

action agenda

4Seek equitable and reliable resources for these efforts.

Metropolitan Chicago is home to almost two-thirds of the state’s population and pays nearly twothirds

of Illinois’ gas tax revenues, yet it receives less than half of these funds for transportation

improvements. In today’s economic climate, it is critical to the future of Illinois, and in some respects,

the whole Midwest, that Chicago be strong and that our transportation systems be competitive

globally. A strong Chicago translates to a greater competitive advantage for the whole state.


Transportation drives economy – both literally and figuratively – and the state must equitably invest in

Chicago’s economy. Some transportation funding distribution formulas are decades-old and do not

reflect today’s conditions and needs. With the nation rethinking transportation funding and debating

a new transportation authorization bill, it is also time for the state to review existing practices.

45% $


300,000 motorists pass through

the circle interchange each day.


5. 55/45 Split for Illinois

Transportation Funding

Despite having 65% of the state’s

population, our region receives

only 45% of the state’s road



4 » Actions

47 th Street in Bronzeville

a. Work through the Chicago Metropolitan

Agency for Planning (CMAP) and the

Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus to eliminate the

archaic entitlement-based formula distribution

of state/federal funds in favor of need-based


b. Encourage the Illinois Department of

Transportation (IDOT) to remove the arbitrary

cap placed on Safe Routes to School funding;

instead, apply the formula the federal

government uses in providing the funding to

states (i.e., by number of school-age children


c. Determine the amount of funds needed for high

safety risk location improvements and identify

additional, dedicated funding sources beyond

the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA)

discretionary Highway Safety Improvement


Bryn Mawr Avenue in Edgewater

d. Establish a city transportation enterprise fund to

support continuous and reliable transportation

investments in our local system.


Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park

Choices for Chica




choices for chicago

Americans love choice and Chicagoans are no different. We like to choose where we

action agenda

live, what we eat, and how we travel. Fortunately, when it comes to transportation,

Chicago has a rich variety of choices: it is as easy to hop on a bike to reach Navy Pier

as it is to dash around the Loop on an elevated train. It is generally pleasant and safe

to walk whether you are eight years old or eighty. People can choose how they get

around Chicago and choose a different way on a different day.

These choices have a much larger impact than simply how fast we get to our

destinations; they can also affect our health and our economy.

Vehicle emissions contribute to poor air quality. This can lead to asthma and other

respiratory problems, which afflict more than 650,000 children and adults in

metropolitan Chicago. More than a third of Chicago children and a whopping 60%

of adult residents are either overweight or clinically obese, due in part to lack of

physical activity.

The availability of transportation choices also contributes to the amount of money

that Chicago households spend on transportation. The Center for Neighborhood


Technology estimates that transportation costs Chicago households roughly $7,500

per year - about 17% of the average household budget, but an even larger share for

lower-income neighbors. Residents of auto-dependent areas must spend an average

of $3,000 more per year than those who have access to multiple modes of travel.

Choice is a value we cherish. We know that driving continues to be a very viable choice

for the city and region, and CDOT is committed to making it safer and more efficient

for those who drive. But getting in a car should be a choice, not a requirement. For

our physical and economic health as a city, we will continue to expand and improve

the availability of all mode choices.

Performance Measures

1. Improve the reliability and consistency of

workday (6am-6pm Monday-Friday) auto travel

times on monitored major streets.

2. Improve CTA on-time performance.

3. Increase the average daily CTA ridership on a

majority of routes.

4. Increase the number of residents within a half

mile of a bikeway.

5. Increase the share of all trips under five miles

made by cycling to at least 5%.




city has





choices for chicago

action agenda



P olicies +

A ctions

More fully and consistently implement Chicago’s

Complete Streets Policy:

“The safety and convenience of all users of the

transportation system, including pedestrians, bicyclists,

transit users and motor vehicle drivers, shall be

accommodated and balanced in all types of transportation

and development projects and through all phases of

a project, so that even the most vulnerable – children,

elderly, and persons with disabilities – can travel safely

within the public right of way.”

Complete Streets not only increase safety but also add to the economic

competitiveness of the city. A transportation system that encourages walking,

biking, and transit attracts an increasingly mobile workforce that looks for

places that provide a rich quality of life. Implementing Complete Streets and

encouraging people to drive less often will also bring environmental benefits.

Chicago has been a national leader in designing and implementing Complete

Streets. Each and every project is an opportunity for CDOT to improve our

overall transportation system for all of its users.

1 » Actions

a. Improve at least 8,000 curb cuts in

2012–2013 to further enhance access for

people with disabilities.

b. Develop and adopt Complete Streets Design

Guidelines in tandem with Sustainable Design

Standards and in collaboration with the

Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago


c. Train all design engineers in Complete Streets


d. Update CDOT’s project delivery system to

ensure Complete Streets design of roadway

projects, and potentially include the use of

a Complete Streets checklist during the first

phase of design.

e. Review all major street resurfacing projects for

opportunities to incorporate Complete Streets

elements (curb cut replacement, “zebra stripe”

crosswalks, refuge islands, bike lanes) and

implement selected elements.

f. Prepare an updated Complete Streets

ordinance or resolution for City Council


g. Require all “maintenance of traffic” plans

submitted for private and public construction

projects to show compliance with Complete

Streets standards.


Streets should accommodate

and protect all users.






Although access to healthy foods and better dietary habits are clearly ways

to fight the obesity epidemic, easy, safe, transportation choices are also

critical as a health management tool. According to the 2009 National

Household Travel Survey, only 13% of children ages 5 to 14 usually walked

or biked to school, compared with 48% of students in 1969. Conversely,

12% of children arrived at school by private automobile in 1969, compared

with 44% by 2009.

Illinois is the state with the fourth highest rate of childhood obesity, over

20% overall, and 35% for 10 to 17-year olds. 6 In Chicago, 22% of 3 to

7-year olds and 28% of 10 to 13-year olds are clinically obese. 7 As grownups,

over 3.6 million Illinois adults are clinically obese.

How much is good health worth? Hopefully, to an individual it is priceless,

but poor health — particularly obesity — costs Chicagoans dearly.

6. Example Complete Streets Rendering

1969 2009

Studies estimate that health care costs attributable to obesity cost individuals

an additional $1,429 each year and cost the state more than $700

million annually. 8

h. Improve the clearance of snow from sidewalks

for pedestrians and people with disabilities:

strengthen the sidewalk snow removal

ordinance; expand the campaign to improve

awareness by property owners of their snow

removal responsibilities; begin efforts to

better utilize Special Service Areas to clear

commercial districts; coordinate volunteers to

fill gaps in snow removal on neighborhood

sidewalks; and develop a process for tracking

progress of snow removal.

i. Work with the Department of Public Health to

implement PlayStreets pilot project in 2012,

allowing neighbors to close streets to traffic

regularly in warmer months to provide space

for active recreation.

Mode of Transit

Private Automobile Walk or Bike






10% 20% 30% 40% 50%

% of children ages 5-14

1969 2009

7. Childrens’ Travel Patterns to School

Corporations and businesses also pay. According to a 2008 study, obesity

costs private employers in America roughly $45 billion a year in medical

expenditures and work hours lost. Chicago area employer Advocate Health

Care estimates that obesity cost them nearly $6 million in lost productivity

in 2009 alone. The Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood

Johnson Foundation reported: “Businesses are reluctant to locate in areas

where the population, particularly the future workforce, is unhealthy. High

health care costs and lower productivity are unattractive to employers and

investors.” 9

How can better transportation be part of the solution?

Parents frequently list traffic safety concerns as one of their top reasons

why their children do not walk or bike to school. Safe “active transportation”

facilities — sidewalks, bike lanes, trails and appropriate signals and

crosswalks make biking, walking and transit access (which begins and ends

with a walk trip) safer, more inviting, and even a little bit fun. Better facilities

make it easier for parents to team up to provide “walking school buses” for

their children instead of carpools. These facilities are and must continue to


be a component of Chicago’s health agenda.


choices for chicago

action agenda


Make Chicago the best big city in America for cycling and walking.

Chicago has a national reputation as a model city for bicycling and walking. The city’s 134 miles of on-street bike lanes,

40 miles of marked shared lanes, scenic off-street paths (including the popular Lakefront Trail), more than 12,000 bike

racks (the most in the nation), and sheltered parking at transit stations demonstrate Chicago’s commitment to building

a bike-friendly city. In 2011 alone, CDOT installed the city’s first 2 miles of protected bike lanes, as well as 17 miles of

standard bike lanes, and 11 miles of marked shared lanes.

Likewise, Chicago is a marvelously walkable city for people of all ages, abilities and purposes with over one-quarter of

all trips in the central part of Chicago being made on foot. 10 It’s not just our opinion — Chicago was recently designated

a “Gold Level” Walk Friendly Community by the Federal Highway Administration, one of only seven in the nation. 11

Just over 1% of Chicago commuters choose to travel by bicycle. While this number has almost doubled each of the last

two decades, it’s still less than the enviable 6% rate in Portland, Oregon or the 4.5% achieved in chilly Minneapolis.

Even in the central portion of the city, only 2% of all trips (errands, lunch, and commute) are by bicycle. We can do

better — much better.


Continuing to invest in the right infrastructure and safety enhancements will keep increasing the number of Chicagoans

who choose active transportation and, by extension, contribute to a healthier, happier, and more productive populace

and city.

Cyclists + Runners on Lakefront Trail

1.3% of


travel by



Seattle- 3.6%

2 » Actions

a. Launch the first phase of a public bike sharing

program with 3,000 bikes and 300 stations

by 2012 and expand to 4,000 bikes and

400 stations by 2013.

b. Complete and release three key planning

documents in 2012

» Pedestrian Master Plan,

» Streets for Cycling Plan 2020,

» Chicago Trails Plan.

c. Improve cycling conditions on Chicago streets

in several ways:

» Install 25 miles of protected bikeways by

2012 and continue design work to be able

to reach 100 miles by 2015.

» Install 10 additional miles of bike lanes and

marked shared lanes each year.

» Begin site selection and design of

neighborhood greenways to be able to

establish 10 miles by 2015.

d. Grow the network of multi-use trails for nonmotorized


» Begin construction of the Lakefront Trail

flyover bypass to eliminate conflicts with

motorists travelling to and from Navy Pier.

» Complete the final design for the 2.65 mile

Bloomingdale Trail to ensure opening by


» Begin the design of the Weber Spur Trail

that will connect the Elston Bike Lane, the

Sauganash Trail, and upcoming Forest

Preserve and Village of Lincolnwood trails.

= 1% of commuters

» Begin the design of the North Branch

Riverwalk Trail connection under the Addison

Street Bridge.

e. Add 500 more public bike racks each year, in

response to requests.

f. Explore potential Lakefront Trail improvements

during Phase I engineering for the reconstruction

of North Lake Shore Drive.

g. Explore the implementation of “slow zone” blocks

where everyone feels comfortable sharing and

traveling the street.

h. Open some boulevards or other major streets

to pedestrians, bikes and non-motorized uses

exclusively on selected weekend periods.

Portland- 6.0%

Sacramento- 2.5%

San Francisco- 3.5%

Anchorage- 1.5%

Seattle- 3.6%

Tuscon- 3.0%

Honolulu- 1.6%

Minneapolis- 3.5%

Denver- 2.2%

St. Louis- 0.9%

Austin- 1.0%

In the central zone of the city,

only 2% of all trips are done

by bicycle

Chicago- 1.3%

New Orleans- 1.8%

Washington D.C.- 3.1%

Tampa- 1.9%

Boston- 1.4%

Baltimore- 0.7%

= 1% of commuters


The 2.65-mile dormant railroad embankment that

crosses the northwest side from Logan Square and

Humboldt Park to Wicker Park and Bucktown has been

called many things. CDOT and our many partners call

it an opportunity.

The Bloomingdale Trail project will transform this obsolete

freight rail corridor into an elevated trail for

cyclists, pedestrians, joggers, and skaters — within a

green linear park that will connect a number of smaller

parks and unite neighborhoods.

The trail expands opportunities for car-free commuting

in the city by connecting to the popular Milwaukee and

Elston Avenue bike lanes to the Loop, Humboldt Boulevard,

two CTA stations, the Metra Clybourn Station,

and several bus routes. It will also serve 12 schools

and half a dozen neighborhoods, drawing thousands

for travel, exercise, or just leisurely strolls.

The trail will be a showcase for mobility and be an

example of Chicago’s commitment to environmental

stewardship. Any environmental contaminants discovered

on this industrial rail corridor will be remediated

as part of the project and the new facility will feature

state-of-the-art, low-impact design landscapes that

manage and clean stormwater.

Mayor Emanuel has committed to opening the trail

in his first term in office and CDOT and its partners

are off to a rapid start in meeting that challenge. The

design is well underway and the project partners are

meeting regularly with neighbors, partners and stakeholders

to ensure this development is true to the vision

they have pursued for years and a catalyst for community



8. Major U.S. Bicycle Commuter Percentage

Portland- 6.0%

choices for chicago

action agenda


Provide all residents, workers, and visitors

with efficient, affordable, and attractive transit


Transit is vital to Chicago’s way of life. Beginning operation in

1892, the elevated train system steadily grew, becoming the third

busiest rapid transit system in the United States (and second in

total mileage). It carries over 700,000 people each weekday and










163 million riders annually. CTA buses provide comprehensive

coverage of the city and carry over a million passengers daily.


Metra commuter trains provide another 300,000 daily transit trips

across the region, and most of these trips have at least one end

in the city of Chicago. As millions can attest, transit saves people

money. Studies have shown that switching to mass transit can save

Chicago households as much as $400 a month when counting

the costs of fuel, insurance, parking and maintenance for vehicle

Riders (in millions)






178.7 195.2




CDOT and CTA are partners in this system: CTA buses run on the










streets CDOT builds and CTA trains operate on a rail network that

includes 50 miles of track and more than 50 stations owned by









CDOT. There is an excellent working relationship between our two

agencies and we both share the same goals and vision.
















This complex transit network has enabled and encouraged the

densely built-up city core, but our 120-year old transit system is

showing its age. New demands and expectations of riders require

modernized systems to meet the city’s rapid transit needs and keep

Chicago competitive for future generations.

CTA Bus CTA Rail


9. Annual Transit Ridership: 1997 - 2010


3 » Actions

a. Build/rebuild four CTA rail stations:

» Finish construction of Lake/Morgan Station

on the Green/Pink Lines in 2012.

» Begin rebuilding Clark/Division Station on

the Red Line, starting with a new ADAaccessible

entrance at LaSalle Street.

» Finish design of the combined Washington/

Wabash station on the Loop Elevated and

construct by 2014.

» Finish design of the new Cermak-McCormick

Place station on the Green Line and

construct by 2014.

b. Develop three Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridors

in partnership with CTA:

» Build BRT facilities for CTA on Jeffrey

Boulevard in 2012.

» Continue design, engineering and federal

» Support CTA’s BRT alternatives analysis for

Western and Ashland Avenues.

» Analyze city routes for future BRT


c. Install Transit Signal Priority (TSP) equipment

at 100 intersections annually, as part of a

strategy for 30 corridors and 500 intersections

by 2015.

d. Collaborate with CTA’s efforts to complete

the full scale planning of the Red Line

Reconstruction project by 2012.

e. Support CTA’s ongoing efforts to advance

long-range “New Start” rail network expansion

plans, including southern extensions of the Red

and Orange Lines.



The first transit facilities in Chicago - including the Loop, Lake Street and

Jackson Park elevated lines - were all built and operated by private sector

concerns. After the financial decline of these private operators up to and

through World War II, the public sector took over.

In the 1940’s, the city of Chicago led the construction of the State and Dearborn

Street subways. A state-authorized referendum created the Chicago

Transit Authority (CTA) in 1947 to buy rapid transit, trolley and bus lines

from failed private transportation providers, and continue their operations

as a public service.

The City made agreements for CTA to use and maintain the subways, while

the City retained ownership. The City built most of a relocated Congress

line in the 1950’s, within the median of a superhighway later named the

Eisenhower Expressway. Then in the 1960’s, the City similarly built lines in

the medians of the Dan Ryan and Kennedy Expressways with federal monies

(66%) and City bond funds. CTA took over operation of these lines upon

completion, though the City again maintained ownership. Similar arrangements

occurred with the extension of the Kennedy line to O’Hare in 1984.

grant process for BRT across the Central

After a planned Crosstown Expressway project was cancelled, the City was

Area (to Union/Ogilvie stations) with

eventually able to reprogram $931 million to transit improvements. Over

construction to start in 2014.

$520 million was used to build and buy new rail cars for the Southwest Or-

Red Line

ange line, completed in 1993. The remainder was programmed by the City

to renovate and replace elevated track, structure, and stations; renovate



subway facilities; and build the track link that allowed for reorganizing the

Blue Line

Red and Green lines.



CTA Rail





Orange Line

Green Line

The City works with the CTA to ensure that these facilities meet their operating

needs. CDOT focuses on architectural and engineering projects,

especially downtown, while passing funds on to the CTA for signals, power


Brown Line

and specialized labor such as track crews.







Pink Line

Purple Line

Yellow Line


In total, the City has built and owns 50 of the 105 miles in the CTA rapid

transit system, four rail storage yards, and four rail car maintenance facilities.

In 2011, this partnership continued as CDOT completed a major reconstruction

of the Grand/State Station and was at work on a new Morgan

Station serving the Green and Pink Lines.

10. 2010, Transit Ridership % by mode

choices for chicago

action agenda

4Improve intermodal connections and operations.

A transit rider is always a pedestrian for at least part of their trip. Metra riders

often transfers to CTA buses. Motorists and cyclists can both have their own “park

and ride” facilities. Yet the logistics of making these connections happen can be

a challenge.

Improving facilities is part of the solution, but scheduling, travel information and

wayfinding are also big parts of the equation. CDOT is committed to working with

our transit partners at the Regional Transit Authority (RTA), CTA, Metra, and Pace

and with technology partners to expand the city’s rich travel choices and improve

connections between them.


4 » Actions

a. Improve transfers at Union Station, the region’s

busiest transit facility:

» Begin design and acquire land for a new

rail-bus transfer center south of Jackson

Street, to open in 2014 along with Central

Area BRT.

» Finish a station master plan study to assess

future options for improving transfers and

increasing capacity. Begin computer

simulations to further refine these options.

» Coordinate with Amtrak (owner of the

station) on their overall plans for changes

in operations and facilities over the next 20


b. Work to add customized BusTracker and

intermodal information on monitors in bus

shelters, beginning with Bus Rapid Transit


c. Upgrade “first mile/last mile” transit access.

» Install high-capacity, double-deck bike racks

in five additional CTA or Metra stations to

improve transit connections for cyclists.

» Install Bike Sharing stations at or near all

CTA or Metra stations in the bike sharing

service area, including the four downtown

Metra terminals (Union, Ogilvie, Millennium,


» Make sidewalk, crosswalk, and bike

parking improvements where needed.

» Complete the Access to Transit Data Study,

reporting mode of access information and

user perception of transit access conditions

for 48 CTA stations in Chicago.

d. Support the RTA’s project to improve

wayfinding signs at interagency transit transfer

points, beginning with the Jackson-Van Buren


e. Support CTA and RTA efforts to implement a

unified fare system and/or electronic payment

system for transit operators.

f. Work with the Department of Housing and

Economic Development to identify city-owned

properties for expanded car-sharing and bike

parking locations at transit stations.

g. Work with CTA and Metra to designate

agency pedestrian and bicycle coordinators.


What do you get when you combine the limited stops and

fast boarding of rapid transit with the service flexibility,

fast implementation and affordability of bus transit service?

Bus Rapid Transit, or “BRT” for short.

Details of BRT service in Chicago will vary from corridor

to corridor based on context (and will have a catchier

name than “BRT”), but each starts with clearly dedicated

bus lanes. Other options in the “toolbox” to be used in

some projects include:

• Fewer stops

• Traffic Signal Priority – including “queue jumps”

• Boarding area canopies

• Real time bus arrival signs

• Wide doors/Bus floor level boarding

• Prepaid boarding

• Streetscaping

• Increased capacity

There are several BRT projects in the works. The Jeffrey

Corridor project will be the first demonstration in the city

of the potential of BRT. It reduces the number of stops

and improves rush hour travel on one of Chicago’s most

popular express routes, more than two miles from the

nearest rail rapid transit service.

The Central Area East-West corridor will cross the heart

of the Loop, improving travel times and comfort for users

of seven bus routes (including the Jeffrey Express) that

serve Ogilvie and/or Union stations, but also continue

onward to Navy Pier, Streeterville, River East, the Illinois

Medical District, the United Center, Milwaukee Avenue,

Madison Street, and Blue Island Avenue.

Western and Ashland Avenues are currently being studied

as future BRT routes. These popular bus routes traverse

the city and provide access to several different CTA

and Metra rail stations.


choices for chicago

action agenda



predictable, safe, and reliable motor vehicle


Chicago is a congested city. Frequently, commute times can vary significantly

based on unpredictable traffic conditions. While there are limits to how much

can be done to make personal vehicle commutes shorter or faster in a mature

city, there is much that can be done to reduce delay and make travel time more


Motor vehicles are – and will continue to be – a critical transportation choice for

Chicagoans. Sections of Cicero Avenue, Congress Parkway, Harlem Avenue,

Pulaski Road and Stony Island Avenue each carry more than 50,000 vehicles

a day; segments of Lake Shore Drive have daily volumes that exceed 110,000



Over the next two years, CDOT will take a number of actions to improve

driving conditions, including: better coordination to improve incident response

(e.g., clearing crashes or routing traffic around bottlenecks); signal timing

changes for smoother traffic flow; and better communications with motorists

about current conditions.

In 2011, CDOT introduced, a site that uses GPS

data from 2,000 CTA buses to help monitor congestion and predict auto travel

times on major streets.

Safe and efficient vehicular mobility means safer and more predictable travel

for all other modes as well. Clear and timely information about traffic and

transit conditions and options can help everyone make better choices about

how, when, and where they travel in and around Chicago.

5 » Actions

a. Enhance the new www.chicagotraffictracker.

com with even better information on current

traffic conditions, live video from available

traffic cameras, and opportunities to receive

updates through email or text message alerts.

Also, work with OEMC to develop means

to exchange information with “Gateway

System” Expressway monitors, data and RTA’s

“GoROO” travel information site.

g. Secure funding for a Chicago citywide

signal optimization plan that will evaluate

and prioritize revisions to signal timing and

operations on approximately two-thirds of the

city’s signals over a six-year period.

h. Expand traffic signal database access to

CDOT field office users for faster updates and

greater utilization.

b. Finish the final phase of the Traffic

Management Center, integrating 9-1-1

dispatch data and other systems to better

manage and operate the City’s transportation


c. Modernize 175 intersections with installation

of Advanced Traffic Controllers (ATC) for

improved vehicle operations, safety and

throughput; secure funding for additional


d. Install variable message signs (VMS) and

speed indicator signs at selected locations on

key arterials to provide information on current

traffic conditions.


e. Continue design to deploy new signal

interconnect systems using hybrid fiber/wireless


f. Upgrade existing interconnects on Lake Shore

Drive (near Museum Campus) and Irving Park

Roads with adaptive signal control (ASC)


Serving Chicagoa

serving chicagoans

As a department, CDOT is not just oriented to moving people. We are

action agenda

also committed to continually improving the service we provide to the

Chicagoans who are our customers, our funders, and our neighbors.

We pledge to deliver high-quality customer service.

Requests for service from CDOT and other City departments can be

made by any citizen by calling 311. Many types of service can also be

requested through the City’s 311 website. The City’s Customer Service

Request system sorts CDOT requests into 45 public “request types”,

which are then assigned to various divisions of CDOT for action within

a set period of time.

This system is used to ensure that CDOT provides high-quality, timely

service to fix the problems that have been reported. For example,

requests to repair or replace one-way signs need to be completed

within three days; in 2011, the average response was 1.03 days. In the

next two years, CDOT will raise the bar on its existing performance



But that’s only half the challenge. We must also be more clear about

when, where and how we are providing these services. A key to this

is making sure we make the best use of current technologies. In

partnership with the City’s Department of Innovation and Technology

(DoIT), CDOT will use social media, smartphones, open data, and more,

to not only hear and respond to requests for repairs and improvements,

but also to recognize and prevent problems before they occur.

Performance Measures

1. Increase the percentage of Customer Service

Requests and 311 requests resolved within the

“allowable duration” to at least 95%.

2. Increase the percentage of Customer Service

Requests and 311 request categories where

the average response time is less than half the

“allowable duration” to at least 50% (and reduce

the “allowable duration” when feasible).

3. Increase the percentage of potholes patched or

fixed within 72 hours.

4. Increase the percentage of social media

inquiries that receive a usable response by the

next business day.


serving chicagoans

action agenda


Improve responsiveness.

It takes more than inspectors on city staff to know where our transportation system

isn’t working. Fortunately, there are over five million eyes on Chicago’s streets.

Making it easier for people to identify and report issues will get those issues

resolved more quickly.

Requests for service come from a wide range of sources and differ greatly in size

and scope. Nonetheless, each request must be given the utmost attention and

responded to in a timely manner. This includes efficient mobilization and effective

P olicies +

A ctions

response to weather-related and other emergency situations.

Sometimes, the solutions may take time. That’s why it is also important to allow

people to know the status of their request, so they know that their concern has been

heard and that their input is useful.

Distribution of time spent on customer service:



Regulatory signs

work orders

Alderman Calls/Issues





Citizen Service Requests


Construction Inspections


11. Customer Service Time Distribution

1 » Actions

a. Partner with DoIT to explore ways for

smartphone users to submit service requests

with a mobile application (such as SeeClickFix)

and utilize the phone’s camera in a way that

works with and enhances the existing 311


b. Patch potholes within 72 hours and develop

an online “dashboard” that reports the

progress in fixing potholes during peak repair

season in winter/spring.

c. Use the 311 system to monitor sidewalk snow

removal concerns and address problem


d. Institute a process to better address ADA

complaints filed through the 311 system.

e. Encourage the use of the CDOT website to

suggest bike rack locations, and post status

of all requests to website within 7 days and

update as progress occurs.

f. Re-evaluate Customer Service “request types”

to make sure the data is relevant and as useful

as possible for tracking response times.


serving chicagoans

action agenda


Enhance transparency and public


Chicagoans want to know whether or not their government

agencies are working. We will increase our transparency by

providing more information, using new ways of disseminating

information and creating a dialogue with citizens. This will help

assure the public that their tax dollars are well-spent and will

create more accountability. Our website,, is

an important component of public communications.


2 » Actions

a. Reorganize the CDOT website to simplify



access to information that is frequently

In order to provide quick, high quality service to all

searched and provide clear information about

Chicago residents, we have identified the following

upcoming and current projects.

b. Respond to at least 90% of Twitter and other

performance indicators for completing repairs and

inspections in response to service requests.

social media inquiries promptly – within one

Within 1 day:

business day, preferably within two hours.

• Stop sign missing

c. Promote and expand the use by staff of

other social media outlets, including CDOT’s

Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube feeds.

d. Develop a departmental blog to provide more

immediate news to residents.

e. As part of Mayor Emanuel’s “Open Portal”

program, make data-sets available to the

public and encourage development of

• Traffic light out

• Wire down

Within 3 days:

• Pavement cave-in survey

• One-way sign missing

Within 4 days:

• Outage of multiple streetlights

applications for the analysis of that data.

Within 7 days:

Explore further uses of Google Maps as a

base for project information.

f. Develop a “dashboard” to report progress

against goals and actions from this report

(and elsewhere) as Key Performance Indicators

(KPIs). Progress on the KPI goals will be

published on CDOT’s website.

Community Input from Bloomingdale Trail Workshop

• Pothole in street

• Public way obstruction

Within 10 days

• Pothole in alley

• Inspect public way construction

• Outage of a single streetlight


g. Develop and prominently publish an easy to

Within 20 days

understand explanation of where and when

different traffic management techniques or

control devices could be used.

• Non-emergency signs

Within 30 days

• Outage of alley streetlight

• Sidewalk survey

Within 120 days, less if weather permits

• Street line/marking maintenance

serving chicagoans

action agenda


Disseminate customer information.

Information is power. The quantity and quality of information that people have

about transportation allows them to make better choices. Milwaukee bus, Blue

Line or bicycle? Red Line or Brown Line at Belmont? Stevenson Expressway, Archer

Avenue or the Orange Line? Wait for the bus or walk? Stay on this road or detour?

The only way to make an informed decision is with quality, real-time information.

Over the last few years, CDOT and other agencies have made more transportation

information available to the public. We will continue to provide information and

use technology to make it available to everyone when and where it is helpful. We

will also improve access to published materials, such as maps and educational

information, to empower Chicagoans to make well-informed decisions about



Share the Road safety outreach

3 » Actions

a. Install multi-modal information monitors in CTA

bus shelters that display TravelTracker, bike

sharing, car sharing, and traffic information.

b. Continue to distribute at least 50,000 bicycle

maps per year.

c. Provide training, classes and information

through the Chicago Center for Green

Technology for individuals and institutions to

learn about more sustainable transportation,

homes, workplaces and communities.

d. Explore opportunities to cooperate with

popular online map services, including

correction of errors and notification of

extended closures.

NOTE: Several more customer information actions

are discussed in other chapters, including:





S P R I N G 2 0 1 1

City of Chicago • Rahm Emanuel, Mayor

Department of Transportation

Gabe Klein, Commissioner



» Bicycle Ambassadors and Safe Route

Ambassadors (Page 24 + 25)

» Bike Sharing Program (Page 45 + 49)

» RTA Wayfinding (Page 49)

» (Page 50 + 51)

» Variable Message Signs (Page 51)

» Travel Demand Management (Page 69)

» Truck Routes, Site Maps, and GIS layers

(Page 87)


serving chicagoans

action agenda


Build agency and staff capacities and increase efficiencies.

Smart cities continually invest in their workforce. In this economy, the ability to find

a good paying job is paramount to many. All the building, rebuilding, installing and

other actions identified in these pages will create a considerable amount of jobs

and opportunities for residents to learn new skills and trades.

No matter how big or small the project, Chicagoans deserve a quality work

product from their public servants that is completed as efficiently and economically

as possible. Looking for ways to “work smarter” is crucial to reaching that goal.


4 » Actions

Chicago Center for Green Technology Seminar

a. Expand the use of apprenticeships to establish

a skilled workforce for the future and ensure

that the institutional knowledge of today’s

workers is passed on.

b. Train skilled trades employees in new


c. Partner with Greencorps Chicago to train

workers and fill job opportunities with city


d. Use the Chicago Center for Green Technology

to provide training in “green collar” jobs and

encourage the growth of environmentallyinspired


e. Improve databases to ensure that staff

users at all agencies can access relevant

data, ordinances, private benefit signs, and

driveway permits for proper and consistent

permits, installations, and enforcement.


A More Sustainab

le City


a more sustainable city

Cities are among the most environmentally sustainable of human

action agenda

habitations. Urban residents tend to drive less, consume less energy,

and produce less water run-off per capita than their suburban and

rural counterparts.

Because the density of cities generally means more people and less

open space on individual lots, the public streets and rights of way

are a crucial resource for expanding the tree canopy, diversifying

habitats, and managing stormwater. There is abundant opportunity

to accomplish this in the 23% of the land area of the city of Chicago

found in the public right of way such as streets and alleys.

For more than a decade, Chicago has been the nation’s leader in

building green streets that refresh and restore the urban environment.

We have conducted five pilot projects to find the best way to pave

streets using recycled asphalt. Over 20 cities have replicated our

award-winning Green Alley Program, which has been recognized in

over 65 publications and now is a case study in environmental design


textbooks. Programs like Greencorps Chicago train hard-to-employ

individuals for more robust futures in the “Green Collar” economy.

We have diversified and expanded Chicago’s urban forest. Increased

tree canopy cover provides shade to reduce the “urban heat island”

effect in summer, improves air and water quality, reduces noise

pollution, and improves the quality of urban life. Tree planting has

the ability to revitalize neighborhoods.

CDOT will continue to be a leader in innovating and demonstrating

to the nation the value and viability of building green.

Performance Measures

1. Increase the tree canopy and public right of way

tree count.

2. Reduce the number of Ozone Action Days.

3. Increase the recycling of construction waste to

75% of eligible materials.


Chicago is a

national leader

in building




a more sustainable city

action agenda


Support the Chicago Climate Action Plan.

Chicago is not a city that takes a “wait and see” position on climate change,

especially when many viable and cost-effective actions are possible to reduce

carbon emissions. This is especially true when such actions also improve the beauty,

livability and economic competitiveness of Chicago.

The Chicago Climate Action Plan was developed by a diverse task force of city

leaders. It proposed an initial reduction in Chicago’s carbon output by 2020 to at

least 25% below 1990 levels. This goal can be achieved through integrated and

P olicies +

A ctions

holistic actions among all city departments. Currently 21% of the city’s greenhouse

gas emissions come from our transportation vehicles – buses, trucks, planes and

autos. Expanding non-fossil fuel dependent modes of transport (bicycle, walking

and electric vehicles) and enabling development patterns that reduce our need

to drive have the potential to significantly reduce this impact and ensure a more

sustainable, prosperous future for Chicago.



21% of

Chicago’s ghg


are from



Green Taxi


1 » Actions

a. Launch a Travel Demand Management (TDM)

program and sign up 100 employers of 50

employees or more for commuter benefits

or alternative commute programs under the

newly-established TDM program.





CDOT is managing what will become the nation’s most

progressive electric vehicle infrastructure project. Us-

b. Manage the creation of the world’s densest

network of quick-charge stations for electric

vehicles, installing 280 stations using a

combination of state, federal and private

investment funds.

c. Promote further use of Clean Natural Gas

(CNG) and other alternative fuels, especially

by the taxicab industry.

d. Implement a carbon travel calculator for the


e. Support community-based, volunteer-led events

and trainings to promote the City’s anti-idling

ordinance and other related environmental

practices through the Chicago Conservation

Corps (C3) and other grassroots programs.


refrigerants + lubricants


other non-road


commercial aircraft


freight trucks


bus + motorcycle

59.7% passenger cars +

light-duty trucks

ing $2 million in federal and state funding to leverage

$6.9 million in private funds, 207 “Level 2” chargers

and 73 Direct Current (DC) quick charge stations will

soon be installed. The program will provide 53 fulltime

jobs for installation, maintenance and operation

and is just the first phase of electric vehicle infrastructure

in the Chicago region.

An additional $15 million in federal funding will be

used to improve regional air quality by installing or

upgrading 28 alternative fueling stations and by retrofitting

or purchasing 400 alternative fuel & hybrid

vehicles. The combined projects will save 3.8 million

gallons of gasoline each year and support 77 jobs in

the region. This funding is being leveraged with $24

million in private and public investment.

Both projects continue Chicago’s efforts in the Chicago

Area Clean Cities (CACC) coalition, a voluntary organization

dedicated to encouraging the use of clean


fuels and clean vehicle technologies in the Chicago

Transportation- 28%

(2014.0 Tg CO Eq)


metropolitan area. It is one of 90 such city coalitions

across the country participating in the U.S. Department

of Energy’s Clean Cities program.

Non-Transportation Sectors- 72%

(5246.7 Tg CO Eq)


12. Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from Transportation

CACC also supports local educational opportunities

for clean vehicle technologies and fuels. For over 15

years, Chicago-area fleet managers and policy makers

have participated in CACC-sponsored workshops

and “ride and drives.” More information about the

coalition, advanced vehicle technologies, and the location

of alternative fuel stations in Chicago can be

found at

a more sustainable city

action agenda


Enhance CDOT’s GreenStreets Program.

Studies prove that tree planting is one of the most beneficial and affordable

infrastructure improvements a municipality can implement. Trees appreciate in value

and have economic, ecological, and social benefits.

In our urban forest, trees also play a vital role in stormwater management, urban heat

island reduction, improved air and water quality, reduced carbon emissions, greater

carbon sequestration, and even increased property values.

Chicago’s GreenStreets program plants trees along and near major streets, and

targets areas with high “urban heat island” effects and lower levels of tree canopy

cover. Since its creation twenty years ago, the program has planted 71,185 trees.

Combined with other sources, 3,900 trees were planted in 2011 alone.


Indiana Avenue Median Planting


The every tree counts

campaign illustrated

the environmental

value of street trees.


2 » Actions

a. Continue tree planting in the public right of

way to support a citywide increase in canopy

cover from 17% to 20% by 2020, including

federally funded initiatives on the South and

West Sides in 2012- 2013.

b. Introduce new tree cultivars (cultivated species

varieties) annually as part of the species

diversity rule to foster healthier functional urban


c. Calculate and report annual environmental

benefits for Chicago’s trees and associated

dollar values of newly-planted street trees

through the National Tree Benefits Calculator


d. Conduct three training presentations to

neighborhood business groups or other

organizations on the measurable benefits

that trees provide to retail sales and other

economic activities.

The City of Chicago has:

A Green Alley:

[ ]

=100 alleys

[ ]

= 10 tires


13 ,000

public alleys


miles of alleys


[ ]


acres of



uses asphalt that recycles


tires per alley

uses surfaces achieving







[ ]

to reduce the

urban heat

island effect


Green Alley with permeable pavers

13. Green Alley Program Benefits

a more sustainable city

action agenda


Reduce stormwater run-off quantity while

improving quality.

Management of stormwater run-off is becoming ever more

important in many American cities. Too much rainwater can

overwhelm antiquated sewer systems.

At a minimum, this leads to water pooling in the road, causing

splashes by moving vehicles and premature erosion of the

roadway. In worst case scenarios, contaminants can even enter

our precious waterways.

While modernizing sewers and completing the regional Deep

Tunnel project will help, we also need to find better ways to let

rainwater disperse naturally, absorb into soil, water plants, or

Stormwater infiltration planters at Rush University

simply evaporate.






3 » Actions

a. Adopt sustainable infrastructure design

guidelines – draft completed in 2012, final by

2013 – in tandem with Complete Street design


b. Complete 20 blocks of additional green alleys

each year, and develop strategies to make

500 miles




The Cermak/Blue Island sustainable streetscape project extends 1.5 miles

from Halsted Street to Wolcott Avenue. The $16.6 million-dollar project sets

a high bar, not only for Chicago but for the nation, in achieving a street that

is not only green in terms of landscaping and stormwater, but also extends

to material and energy use, community integration, and monitoring and

measurement. Some of the features and project goals are:

them standard by 2020.

• Stormwater – Divert 80% of typical average annual rainfall from

c. Continue restrictions on the use of pre-

sewers using permeable pavement, bioswales, planters and street

emergent herbicides during tree planting


operations to improve water quality and

• Water – Eliminate the use of potable (drinkable) water for landscape

aquatic habitat.

irrigation, using native or drought tolerant plants.

d. Evaluate the effectiveness of stormwater best

practices incorporated into the Cermak/Blue

Island Sustainable Streetscape, in partnership 14. Locally Sourced Materials

with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation


Cermak Road / Blue Island Sustainable Streetscape

• Transportation – Improve bus stop shelters, signage, and lighting;

bike lanes; and install new, accessible sidewalks.

• Energy – Reduce energy use by 40% compared to traditional

streetscapes using reflective surfaces and dark-sky friendly light


• Recycling – Recycle at least 90% of construction waste; use recycled

content for at least 10% of construction materials.

• Heat – Reduce ambient summer street temperatures on streets and

sidewalks through the use of high albedo (more highly reflective)

pavement, permeable pavements, roadway coatings, landscaping

and trees.


• Air quality – Use low sulfur fuel for construction vehicles, limit

idling, and use 40% of materials which were extracted, harvested,

recovered or manufactured within 500 miles.

• Education – Develop self-guided tour and other outreach materials

to highlight innovative sustainable features.

• Monitoring – Test to assure improvements meet predicted


a more sustainable city

action agenda


Promote energy efficiency to reduce energy


CDOT owns and operates over a quarter of a million streetlights.

While these lights are critical to vehicular and personal safety,

they also consume tremendous amounts of energy. The attractive

historically-styled “torch” streetlights throughout the Central

Business District can waste over 60% of their energy illuminating

skies and sides rather than the sidewalks and roadways where

the light is needed. The more utilitarian and efficient “cobra-head”

light fixture casts its light down, but still wastes upwards of 30%

of its energy. At this rate, the typically used high-pressure sodium

lamps (according to 2008 estimates) 12


• Draw 73,710 kilowatts of power daily;

• Were responsible for 267,086 tons of CO 2

production (from

electrical generation);

• Cost the City over $14 million in electrical bills.

Fortunately, CDOT is not content with “typical.” The City is actively

retrofitting signals and streetlights with vastly more energy-efficient

lighting elements and fixtures. These improvements will save

millions in energy costs, reduce unnecessary carbon emissions,

and even reduce “light pollution” that impairs visibility of the night

time sky.

Chicago by Day Satellite Photo - Source: NASA



owns and






Together, the sodium-to-halide conversions will combine to save

15.2 million kilowatt hours annually, prevent the annual emission of

nearly 10,500 metric tons of CO 2

, and save taxpayers $850,000

in electric bills.

Chicago by Night Satellite Photo - Source: NASA

4 » Actions

a. Retrofit 1,150 additional traffic signals with LED

lighting by 2012, cutting energy consumption


b. Replace 250-watt high pressure sodium

lights on 362 blocks of residential streets and

11,000 alley fixtures with new “white light”

90- or 140-watt metal halide luminaries by the

end of 2012.

c. Replace 400-watt high pressure sodium lights

on segments of Lake Shore Drive and Western

Avenue with 315- or 210-watt metal halide


d. Upgrade the lighting around Union Station to

be more energy-efficient and still attractive.

e. Pilot test new technologies for energy

efficiency such as LED street lights, wind and/

or solar- powered street/alley lights, and street

identifiers with wind turbines.

Converting from high-pressure

sodium to halide fixtures:


CO 2

$ $



15.2 million kw

of power annually

reduce emissions by

10,500 metric tons

of CO2

save taxpayers


in electric bills

energy from

torch style historic

street lights is

wasted illuminating

skies and sides



energy from the

cobra head style light

is wasted illuminating

skies and sides

the typical high pressure

sodium lamps:


CO 2

$ $

73,710 kw

of power daily

responsible for

267,086 tons

of CO2 production

cost the city

14 million

in electric bills

15. Street Light Retrofit Energy Savings

Cermak Road wind/solar

fixture demonstration


a more sustainable city

action agenda


Reduce material waste and associated

emissions by increasing the use of recycled

materials and other environmentally

preferable practices.

CDOT repaves or reconstructs over 700 blocks of street each

year. This represents tons of material that must be removed from

our city. Where does all of this waste go? Traditionally these

roadway wastes would be ground up and sent to a landfill.

However, much of this “waste” can be diverted to still serve a

useful purpose.

For example, in 2011, CDOT began using an asphalt mix for

resurfacing that includes 5% reclaimed asphalt shingles in

addition to 25% reclaimed asphalt pavement for a total recycled

content of 30%. The shingles provide increased strength and

stability for the pavement.




When it comes to waste, CDOT will follow the “three R’s” –


reduce, reuse and recycle – by incorporating new policies and

applications. This will be good for the environment, good for

the city, and good for our bottom line.




5 » Actions

a. Divert at least 80% of construction waste to


b. Divert 75% of asphalt from resurfacing to be

reused as binder layer in future projects.

c. Divert 75% of concrete from resurfacing to be

reused as stone bed layer in future projects.

d. Use at least 30% recycled-content concrete.

e. Pilot and adopt methods that use less asphalt







The Chicago Sustainable Streets Standards will outline

sustainable design recommendations for the public

right of way. Combined with the existing Streetscape

Design Guidelines and new Complete Streets policies

and guidelines, they will include environmental

performance in the definition of a “complete street.”

The new design standards will create environmental

performance standards for roadway infrastructure in

Chicago, and will provide strategies for implementation,

construction details and specifications, and maintenance

protocols. The standards will be scalable to

the wide range of CDOT activities, and will be used

to guide both private and public construction in the

public right of way. The standards will integrate design

strategies to address the following environmental

goals within the public right of way:

• Stormwater Management

• Water Efficiency

• Energy Efficiency

• Urban Heat Island Reduction

• Recycled Materials

• Construction Waste Recycling


• Local Materials

• Beauty and Community

• Commissioning

Fuel our Economy

fuel our economy

action agenda

Chicago is among the world’s top economic markets. Our diverse

economy influences scores of industries, and changes in our market

conditions echo across the global marketplace. Metropolitan Chicago

is the world’s fourth largest regional economy (by GDP), worth over

half a trillion dollars, ranks as the world’s fifth most powerful economic

city (according to Forbes) and is also the world’s fifth most important


Chicago is the 4 th

most important

business center in

the world


business center (according to MasterCard Financial). 13 In fields from

aviation to pharmaceuticals, from management consulting to risk

management, and from wind power to the power of the daily deal,

local Chicago companies lead the world.

Our economic strength comes not only from the global industries and

business interests that call Chicago home, but also from the keystone

role our freight networks play in moving goods around the country.

With our roots in rail, Chicago is currently the busiest rail hub in the

United States and plays a critical role in moving the nation’s goods.


Yet much of the city’s economic energy comes from our local

businesses and entrepreneurs who populate our main streets and

boulevards. These are our homegrown economic heroes who have, and

will continue to, create growth in the city and sustain today’s dynamic

and diverse metropolis. The small businesses of today are the potential

economic powerhouses of tomorrow. They rely on our transportation

investments – not only to provide efficient movement of people and

goods, but also to create great public places for their employees and

customers. Our streets and avenues are their address, their signature,

and their identity. The quality of public places can greatly influence

the ultimate success of these small businesses.

Performance Measures

1. Increase activity, sales revenue, and

occupancy rates in neighborhood

commercial districts.

2. Decrease hours of freight rail delay (as

measured by the CREATE Program’s

simulation model).

3. Increase transit mode share for

access trips to O’Hare and Midway


4. Increase Amtrak ridership on intercity

passenger rail corridors serving


Chicago (4) London (1)

New York (2) Paris (8)

Los Angeles (10)

Frankfurt (7)

Seoul (9) Tokyo (3)

Hong Kong (5)


Singapore (6)

16. Top 5 GDP’s in the World

fuel our economy

action agenda


Make great streets and developments that enhance

commerce and attract jobs.

Great streets are great for business. Chicago’s streets and boulevards are among

the most iconic in the nation. The physical character of our streets has the capacity

to either help or harm the businesses that line them. Parks, patios and plazas in the


Great streets

are great for



public right of way can improve street safety, increase access to open space, add

additional seating, cultivate community and culture, and increase property values.

Streets are important real estate for commerce as well. They play host to sidewalk

P olicies +

A ctions

vending, outdoor cafes, and street festivals. They define the city’s common identity

and celebrate the unique diversity of our many neighborhoods. Careful and

thoughtful design of our public right of way adds value to our city and our local

business community.

Just as careful design of our streets is important, careful review of the new

development projects that could redefine these streets is equally important. Well

planned, designed and managed private developments add to, rather than

detract from, the common public space, support a more active and walkable street


environment and use a variety of modes to support their residents, workers and

patrons rather than overloading any one.

CDOT wants commercial streets that are as dynamic and lively as our city itself.

Chicago has been a national leader in making our streets unique celebrations of

the local community – work we look forward to continuing.

1 » Actions

a. Finish primary construction tasks on a new

US Highway 41 through the old USX Steel

Mill site, between 79th and 92nd streets.

New roadway, utilities, lighting, sidewalks,

landscaping, signals, parkways and more will

facilitate development of a site ready for new

retailers and residences.

b. Complete the design of the 71st Street

Streetscape (South Shore Drive to Jeffrey

Boulevard) to organize street use for safety,

expanded mobility, and support for local


c. Finish the Cermak Road Sustainable

Streetscape Project.

d. Finish final engineering design of the Lawrence

Avenue Streetscape (Western Avenue to Clark

Street), widening sidewalks, adding trees,

calming traffic, improving safety, enhancing

travel options and managing stormwater.

g. Investigate the feasibility of new plazas and

patios in underutilized portions of the public

right of way and implement pilot site locations

by 2013.

h. Challenge business associations and other

partners to install at least 10 additional onstreet

bike parking corrals by 2013 toward a

target of 25 by 2014.

i. Develop standards for traffic impact analyses

and adopt into zoning guidelines for Planning

Commission submission.

j. Develop guidelines for Transportation Demand

Management plans to inform development

planning and ensure traffic impacts are


Giddings Plaza in Lincoln Square


Make Way for People is a CDOT pilot program aimed

at improving neighborhood livability by encouraging

pedestrian activity, increasing access to open space,

and improving street safety.

Three elements of the program are:

• People Spots – Build “parklets” and popup

cafes on platforms in the parking lane to

reposition seating space on streets with narrow

sidewalks or high pedestrian volumes.

• People Streets - Convert underused asphalt

areas into hardscape parks to create safer

intersections and more public open space

where it is most needed.

• People Plazas – Activate existing CDOT

malls, plazas, and intersection triangles to

programming new community and retail


e. Design and begin reconstruction by 2014 on

the next segments of three major commercial

streets: Milwaukee Avenue (Kilpatrick to

Belmont); Grand Avenue (Pulaski to Damen)

and Lake Street (Damen to the Kennedy



f. Develop a permit process for “pop-up” uses

of public way and support efforts of the

Chicago Loop Alliance to pilot “pop-up cafes”


fuel our economy

action agenda


Improve freight rail operations and facilities in

the Chicago hub to improve mobility, reliability,

and competitiveness.

Chicago grew up around rail; it is both our history and our future.

Our rail infrastructure is critical not only to the region but to the

nation’s commerce. Over 500 freight trains pass through the

2 » Actions

a. Complete primary work on the 130th/Torrence

grade separation by 2013.

b. Finish the citywide viaduct improvements funded

by the federal TIGER Program grant in 2012.

c. Coordinate efforts with Metra as the

Englewood Flyover project begins construction

Chicago region daily, carrying 25% of the nation’s freight. Trains

for completion in 2014.

in this crowded hub contend with lines that cross one another,

d. Start planning and design for CREATE program

bridges that must open for canal ships, conflicts with major auto

corridors, and schedules for shared use of rail lines by Metra,

Amtrak, and freight railroads.

grade separation projects at Archer/Kenton and


e. Identify additional available funding sources

and work with CREATE partners to apply for

To maintain Chicago’s competitive advantage in rail freight, we

must invest to modernize our rail infrastructure. The Chicago Region

Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program is

a first-of-its-kind partnership between the city of Chicago, state

of Illinois, and all of the railroads in the region. It has identified

grants, as appropriate.

f. Work with CREATE partners to initiate, continue

and complete construction as more funds for

projects are secured.

g. Work with partners to implement a legislative

strategy for CREATE during the upcoming


70 critical projects to decongest the region’s rail system and add

capacity for future economic growth. CDOT, as a central partner,

will continue to advance implementation of CREATE projects within

our jurisdiction.

federal transportation legislation reauthorization


h. Continually update public outreach materials

including: presentations, photo libraries, fact

sheets, and the computer animation of key train


i. Refine the economic analysis benefits of

CREATE projects and national logistics cost


j. Evaluate the feasibility of alternative freight

rail routings on the far south side to address

community impacts of existing at-grade

crossings and future transit needs.

Over 1,200

trains pass



[each day.



Freight rail moves the economy – quite literally – and the Chicago region has long been a hub

of rail activity. Each day, approximately 500 freight trains pass through the region handling

one-fourth of the nation’s freight rail traffic. The growth of both passenger and freight rail, and

the intermingling of both together with motorways, has increased congestion and delay for all

modes to the point that it threatens the goods economy.

The rail lines built more than a century ago were not configured for the volumes and types of

freight being carried currently, and Chicago has become the largest U.S. rail freight chokepoint.

Over the next 30 years, demand for freight rail service in Chicago is expected to nearly double,

assuming we can meet that demand.

Thus arose CREATE – the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program

– a first-of-its-kind partnership founded in 2003 between the U.S. DOT, the state of Illinois, city

of Chicago, Metra, Amtrak, and the nation’s freight railroads. A project of national significance,

CREATE will invest billions in critically needed improvements to increase the efficiency of the

regional (and national) passenger and freight rail infrastructure and enhance the quality of life

for Chicago-area residents.

The work includes:

• Common Operational Picture, which is the integration of information from dispatch

systems of all major railroads in the region into a single display

• 25 new roadway overpasses or underpasses to separate traffic from trains

• 6 new rail overpasses or underpasses to separate passenger trains from freight lines

• 37 freight rail projects, including extensive upgrades of tracks, switches and signal systems

• Viaduct improvement projects


• Grade crossing safety enhancements

When it is completed, the benefits of CREATE will include:

• $3.6 billion annual economic benefit from greater efficiency of freight rail

• 1,460 fewer tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) annually (equivalent of 7 NOx-free summer


• 438 fewer tons of carbon monoxide (CO) annually

• 7 to 18 million fewer gallons of diesel fuel used

• 3,000 hours saved by motorists each day

• 17,000 jobs sustained through 2020 in northeast Illinois

Signals at Corwith Intermodal were replaced by the CREATE program,

improving Metra and Amtrak reliability.

• 15 lives saved and countless injuries avoided due to the 25 grade separations

fuel our economy

action agenda


Improve services and operations for truck mobility for the

efficient movement of goods and economic competitiveness

of the central city.

Trucks are critical to economic development, business operations and service

delivery. Nearly every business sector relies on truck deliveries in some form or

fashion. Trucks play a role in nearly every trip chain, whether it is bringing flowers

from Ecuador to the local florist, documents from Indonesia to Boeing headquarters,

or tortillas from Pilsen and Little Village factories to taquerias and groceries. 14

These trucks literally drive our economy and it is vital that they be accommodated,

properly managed, and effectively served. This will mean making it easier for

trucks to find the best time and place to load and unload their goods, as well as

providing better information to allow drivers to get to their destinations as efficiently

as possible.


3 » Actions

a. Evaluate curbside loading zones to encourage

commercial use only, simple enforcement, and

increased turnover and availability.

Kennedy Expressway

b. Explore intelligent transportation systems to

provide better information to the trucking

industry regarding congestion conditions and

availability of public loading areas.

c. Identify and implement additional loading

zones in “hot spot” areas.

d. Complete a truck route planning study and

develop truck route system maps, website and

GIS layer for a travel advisory system to assist

commercial vehicle operators in planning trips

and anticipating detours.


fuel our economy

action agenda


Be a leader – and a partner – in the region.

A strong region makes for strong cities. This is especially true in large, complex

urban areas where the actions of any individual municipality or agency can

have implications throughout the region. This is why Chicago supports and

actively seeks intergovernmental agreements and cooperation from a vast

array of agencies, municipalities and other governmental entities in our

unrelenting quest to improve the quality of life for our residents and visitors.

17. Civic / Agency Partnerships




Center for




Bus Rapid Transit +

Streets for Cycling

Bus Rapid Transit

Our relationship with our suburban neighbors is multifaceted; occasionally

competitors, but often collaborators. Many agencies, both public and private,

as well as the for-profit and not-for-profit organizations play important and

often unique roles in the continued development of our city and region. Each

brings a certain expertise and agenda to the table. We welcome and seek

input, advice and information from all concerned and will continue to work to

improve our standing as a regional leader to represent the needs and desires

of the citizens of Chicago.










Agency for Planning




Bus Rapid Transit

Bus Rapid Transit

Goto 2040 +

Regional Policy

Bus Rapid Transit +

Bike Sharing






Department of








Bus Rapid Transit +

Make Way for People

Complete Streets

Regional Policy +

Anti-Idling Campaign

Commute Options +

Travel Demand Mgmt program

The Sauganash Trail and Lincolnwood’s new Skokie Valley Trail will meet

at Devon to serve both communities.




Commute Options +

Travel Demand Mgmt program +

Transit Signal Priority

4 » Actions

a. Continue to work with the Chicago

Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and

other agencies on the implementation of the

regional comprehensive plan, GOTO 2040.

Several major capital projects and other

initiatives support the goals and objectives of

the City and of GOTO2040; these include

the West Loop Transportation Center, Union

Station Master Plan, and the CTA Red Line


b. Work with the Regional Transportation

Authority (RTA), the Metropolitan Planning

Council (MPC) and others to develop and

implement the Commute Options program, and

coordinate with the City’s new Travel Demand

Management program.

e. Work with CMAP, the Metropolitan Mayors

Caucus, and other interested parties on

regional policy initiatives related to the

allocation and sharing of Federal and State

transportation funding.

f. Work with IDOT and other partners to develop

design standards specific to highly urbanized

areas in order to minimize design variance

requests that delay roadway improvements

and add unnecessary costs.

g. Assist the Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus

in starting a Federally-funded anti-idling

campaign at city and suburban schools.

c. Continue Bus Rapid Transit planning efforts

in cooperation with CTA and civic partners

such as the Metropolitan Planning Council

(MPC), Chicago Community Trust (CCT),

Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF), Active

Transportation Alliance (ActiveTrans), Civic

Consulting Alliance (CCA), and the Center for

Neighborhood Technology (CNT).


d. Continue to coordinate with adjacent suburbs

on trail developments that cross municipal

boundaries, such the Sauganash/Skokie Valley

Trail and Weber Spur Trail corridors with the

Village of Lincolnwood and the Cal-Sag Trail

with several southern suburbs.

Devon Avenue Shopping

fuel our economy

action agenda


Improve Chicago’s and Chicagoans’ connections

to the nation and the world via air and rail.

Safe, efficient, and reliable travel between Chicago and other

national and global destinations is absolutely critical to the city‘s

economy and vitality. O’Hare and Midway airports are among

Daily the busiest Average passenger airports of in O’hare the nation and Passengers

connect Chicago

to hundreds of cities around the globe.

Chicago is also a major passenger rail hub with more than three

5 » Actions

a. Coordinate with IDOT to determine preferred

routes for higher speed passenger rail within

the City.

b. Identify strategic and feasible opportunities for

integrating O’Hare Airport into the Midwest

passenger rail network.

c. Explore the feasibility of further improvements

to transit connections between Downtown and

O’Hare and Midway Airports.

million intercity and long distance passenger rail travelers using

d. Support University of Illinois researchers at

Amtrak trains at Chicago’s Union Station each year. As the hub

of the planned Midwest high speed passenger rail network,

Chicago will connect the Great Lakes region and benefit from the

work on the State of Illinois Feasibility Study

for Very High Speed Rail to ensure timely

completion of their reports.

competitive advantages that brings.

80 M

75 M


Passenger Volume

70 M

65 M

60 M





O’Hare is the

world’s 4th

busiest airport for

passengers and 2nd

[for flights landed.

75,533,822 76,581,146 76,282,212 76,182,025 70,819,015





2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

18. Daily Passenger Average at O’Hare International Airport

Calendar Year

Flags of Chicago’s worldwide Sister Cities, O’Hare Airport


19. Midwest Regional Initiative - Proposed HSR Network

concluding remarks

action agenda


In the preceding pages, CDOT has presented our vision

for the future and an agenda for the actions we will take

over the next 24 months to move Chicago Forward.

Our goals are to make Chicago safer, well maintained,

full of options, well served, greener, and economically

stronger– Now it is time to get to work.

Follow our projects and progress at these locations:



• or follow @ChicagoDOT if you are a



concluding remarks

exHIbIT lIsT

action agenda


1. City-Wide Pedestrian Crash Trends 19

Source: City of Chicago 2011 Pedestrian Crash analysis summary report - 2010 Census

Summary File 3

2. Rendering of Damen-Elston-Fullerton proposed alignment 21

Source: CDOT

3. Vehicle and Pedestrian Collision Speed Survival Percentage 22

Source: U.K. Department of Transportation, Killing Speed and Saving Lives, London, 1987

4. Red-Light Camera Locations 23

Source: CDOT


5. 55/45 Split for Illinois Transportation Funding 36

Source: GOTO 2040 Plan, pg. 260.


6. Example Complete Streets Rendering 43

Source: Sam Schwartz Engineering


7. Childrens’ Travel Patterns to School 43

Source: 2009 National Household Travel Survey

8. Major U.S. Bicycle Commuter Percentage 45

Source: 2010 American Community Survey Statistics

9. Chicago Annual Ridership (1997 - 2010) 46

Source: 2011 Annual Ridership: CDOT, CTA, METRA, PACE

10. 2010, Chicago Transit Ridership Percentage by mode 47

Source: 2011 Annual Ridership: CDOT, CTA, METRA, PACE


11. Customer Service Time Distribution 56

Source: CDOT


12. Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from Transportation 69

Source: John Davies + Christiano Facanha, “Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Freight Trucks”,

May 16, 2007: International Emissions Inventory Conference

13. Green Alley Program Benefits 71

Source: CDOT, “The Chicago Green Alley Handbook, an action guide to create a greener,

environmentally sustainable Chicago”; 2010

14. Locally Sourced Materials 73

15. Street Light Retrofit Energy Savings 75

Source: CDOT


16. Top 5 GDP’s in the World 81

Source: CNN, , December

17, 2011.

17. Civic / Agency Partnerships 88

Source: CDOT


18. Daily Passenger Average at O’Hare International Airport 90

Source: O’Hare International Airport, <

Statistics/Default.aspx>, December 17, 2011.

19. Midwest Regional Initiative - Proposed HSR Network 91

Source: Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission, , April 02, 2012.

concluding remarks


action agenda

All photos are courtesy of the City of Chicago and Sam Schwartz Engineering, except for

the following:

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA),

» Original front and back cover images, pages 4, 28 (bottom), 29 (left), 34 (right), 35 (right), 48 (left, top,

middle), 49 (all), 55, 60 (left), 62

Chicago History Museum, Library of Congress - Chicago Daily news historical

» Pages 8–9 (images incorporated into the Timeline - 1800 and 1920)


» Pages 84, 85 and private collections

» Pages 2, 6, 8–9 (timeline images), 17 (left), 20 (left), 22 (left), 30 (right), 34 (left), 35 (top left), 37 (all),

40 (middle, bottom), 42, 48 (bottom), 50, 58 (right), 61 (top left, bottom), 69 (top), 72 (bottom), 74, 81,

86, 87 (top left, top right, bottom left), 88, 89 (bottom)


» Page 74


enD noTes

1. Page 12 -


2. Page 12 -

3. Page 12 -

4. Page 12 -

5. Page 12 -

6. Page 43 -

7. Page 43 -

8. Page 43 - Illinois Cardio Vascular Task Force, June 2000

9. Page 43 -

10. Page 44 -

11. Page 44 -

12. Page 74 -

13. Page 80 -




14. Page 86 -


concluding remarks

PolICy summaRy

action agenda





1. Evaluation: Gather and use data to assess the root causes of transportation safety

hazards and address them in a systematic and sustainable way.

2. Engineering: Develop standards and complete designs to ensure the safety of all users,

including pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, children, seniors, and people with disabilities.

3. Enforcement: Partner with sister agencies to refocus enforcement efforts to protect the

safety of all users, particularly the most vulnerable.

4. Education: Promote awareness to all residents and travelers on safe habits to decrease

transportation risks and increase safe, efficient, and enjoyable travel in the city.

1. Make it last with maintenance.

2. Fix it first and build it better.

3. Inspect and coordinate.

4. Seek equitable and reliable resources for these efforts.

1. More fully and consistently implement Chicago’s Complete Streets Policy.

2. Make Chicago the best big city in America for cycling and walking.

3. Provide all residents, workers, and visitors with efficient, affordable, and attractive

transit services.

4. Improve intermodal connections and operations.

5. Ensure predictable, safe, and reliable motor vehicle operations.


1. Improve responsiveness.

2. Enhance transparency and public communications.

3. Disseminate customer information.

4. Build agency and staff capacities and increase efficiencies.

1. Support the Chicago Climate Action Plan.

2. Enhance CDOT’s GreenStreets Program.

3. Reduce stormwater run-off quantity while improving quality.

4. Promote energy efficiency to reduce energy consumption.

5. Reduce material waste and associated emissions by increasing

the use of recycled materials and other environmentally

preferable practices.

1. Make great streets and developments that enhance commerce

and attract jobs.

2. Improve freight rail operations and facilities in the Chicago hub

to improve mobility, reliability, and competitiveness.

3. Improve services and operations for truck mobility for the efficient

movement of goods and economic competitiveness of the central


4. Be a leader – and a partner – in the region.

5. Improve Chicago’s and Chicagoans’ connections to the nation

and the world via air and rail.


Rahm Emanuel, Mayor


Gabe Klein | CDOT Commissioner

Scott Kubly | CDOT Managing Deputy Commissioner

Luann Hamilton | CDOT Deputy Commissioner, Project Development

Editor + Project Manager

Keith Privett | Project Manager

Head Writer

Karina Ricks | Consultant/Writer

Graphics + Design


Jennifer Altin, Mike Amsden, Janet Attarian,

Samantha Bingham, Jeff Brink, Dan Burke,

Oswaldo Chaves, William Cheaks, Abraham Emanuel,

Chris Gagnon, Jeff Goliber, Ben Gomberg,

Kiersten Grove, Jill Hayes, Hannah Higgins,

Vasile Jurca, Soliman Khudiera, David Leopold,

Kenneth Martin, Brenda McGruder, Dolan McMillan,

Sarah Miller, Yadollah Montazery, Johnny Morcos,

Jay Orlando, Anthony Pellegrini, Rajiv Pinto,

Anthony Rainey, Chelsea Richer, John Sadler,

Malihe Samadi, Julian Silva, David Seglin,

Charlie Short, Bridget Stalla, Jeff Sriver, Charlene Walsh,

Sean Wiedel, Chris Wuellner, Jesus Yepez, John Yonan,

David Zavattero

Special Thanks

Graham Garfield + Joe Iacobucci, CTA

Sam Schwartz EnginEEring

Mark de la Vergne | Project Director

Matthew Bernstine | Project Manager + Designer

Jee Mee Kim | QA/QC Manager

Danny Garwood | Designer

Dan Miodonski | Planner

Stacey Meekins | Planner

Printing by:

The Blueprint Shoppe, Inc.



John Mac Manus | Principal

Sean McKay | Designer



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